Household Goods Movers Insurance

What is Household Goods Movers Insurance?

Moving companies pack and move household goods or business goods from one location to the next. The moving company assumes liability for any losses that occur to the value of the goods while under the movers' care. Stuff can get damaged before, during and after shipping. Property can also be stolen, misplaced and be lost in a catastrophic incident. As a result, goods moving companies have to carry adequate insurance (matched to the type of operation they run) . Typical coverage include - commercial general liability, motor truck cargo liability (also known as  cargo policy), Collision/Physical Damage liability and it's always a good idea to have commercial umbrella insurance. Interstate cargo movers must carry either a) release value protection insurance or b) full value protection. Full value protection is recommended and most purchased as it offers full replacement of the good damaged or lost, while under the movers custody.

So, you own a moving company – you move household goods, commercial property. Your moving company packs, ships, loads and unloads for your clients -  individuals and businesses. You pay the bills, negotiate contracts, and put plans in place that you hope will generate profits. You have a lot of responsibilities, not the least of which is to mitigate risk. You need moving company insurance.

Moving companies, like most businesses, must take insurance seriously. Expensive premiums, unreasonable deductibles, and uncovered losses will bankrupt you and your moving company, if you're not prepared. Do the research, take your time and buy the insurance plans you need to mitigate your risks.

Required Insurance

Federal law requires businesses that transport household goods across state lines to register with the United States Department of Transportation. You must have a DOT number before you can legally carry another person's belongings into another state. Moving companies are mandated by federal and state laws to obtain several forms of insurance. The types of policies vary by state, but most commonly include the following:

General Liability covers expenses associated with bodily injury, personal injury, and property claims. When you own a moving company, your employees come in regular contact with your clients. They handle their property and often carry and pack away fragile, important items. If something is broken or harmed during the move, your workers and your business will be blamed. General liability will provide a foundation of protection and will allow you to reimburse clients who are injured or who lose property as a result of the move.

Cargo Insurance is required in many states. This covers the property that you transport in your moving trucks. Federal law requires moving companies to hold a policy that at the very least will pay out 60 cents per pound for each of the damaged possessions. This means that if your workers drop and destroy a 30-lb television, you'll need to pay the owners a minimum of $18.00 ($0.60 x 30 lbs= $18.00). In some states, movers must pay out much more than 60 cents per pound. Always be aware of the insurance laws in the states in which you operate.  And, get adequate cargo insurance for movers after consulting with a local agent.

Workers' Compensation Insurance is obligatory in most states. Even if you opt out in Texas or Oklahoma, or you meet one of the exceptions in your state, you won't be able to avoid work injuries. Workers' compensation pays out medical bills, disability payments, and lost wages to your employees when they're injured within the course and scope of employment. Your movers have a dangerous job. They are tasked with carrying hundreds, if not thousands of pounds a day. Injuries are bound to happen. When they do, you'll want a solid workers' compensation plan in place to cover the costs.

Commercial Auto is the law in most places in the country. If you own trucks and you plan to use them for work, you need to obtain the proper licenses and insurance. Commercial auto will protect your employees and your business if one of your workers causes an accident. It will pay for the property damage to your vehicles, the other driver, and associated medical costs.

Medical Insurance must be provided to all of your workers if you employ more than 50 people. This may change in the coming years, but as of today, you need to offer health insurance to your employees if you want to comply with federal law. Injuries are inevitable in the moving business. You need a strong workers' compensation plan to protect your workers on the job, and a solid health care plan to provide them and their families with the medical care they need to stay healthy and to keep coming to work.

Optional Insurance

You, like most business owners, don't want to spend money. That's good, most of the time. You need to be disciplined if you want to be successful, but you can't be afraid to invest in insurance. You won't realize how important insurance is until you're facing a lawsuit that could bankrupt your company. You need to do all you can to make sure this doesn't happen. You must act, research, and learn all you can about insurance and the risks that need to be covered. Here are a few of the policies that you should consider for your moving company:

Property coverage is included in general liability, but only for your customers' belongings. Your insurance will take care of the costs when you or one of your employees damages another person's property, but not if your workers break your own. You need a separate insurance to cover your truck, office, and any other real or personal property that you own.

Excess coverage is, as it sounds, a policy that exceeds the limits of your primary insurance. Your base insurance is more than sufficient for most claims, but not for all. You can't ignore the possibility that one day you could find yourself on the wrong side of a multi-million dollar lawsuit. Excess coverage will take care of the costs that result from a catastrophic claim. It will protect you from a claim may otherwise bankrupt you and your company.

Environmental insurance may not be necessary for all moving companies, but you'll be glad you have it if you're sued for damage protected land. If you move hazardous equipment for companies or businesses, you have to protect yourself against possible spills. The cleanup costs can add up quickly, so consider environmental insurance if you plan to move volatile materials.

Loss of Income will reimburse you for wages you would have earned when your work is disrupted by a covered loss. If you're a small business and your only two trucks are in the shop for repairs, loss of income will keep the money rolling in when you're not able to work. In many areas of the country, moving companies are more in demand in the spring, summer, and fall, and less so in the winter. Loss of income insurance is one way to ensure you can afford payroll when business is slow.

Equipment needs to be protected. Your moving trucks will be covered by your commercial auto policy, but your hand lifts, dollies, and other equipment will not. If you run a large moving company, you don't want to have to pay for every piece of broken equipment. This will add up over time. Crunch the numbers and determine if equipment insurance is a good idea for your moving company.

Warehouse insurance is a way to protect your property while it's not in use. If you store a lot of equipment off-site, look into the benefits of warehouse insurance for your company.

Employment Practices Liability will protect your company if one of your workers is accused of harassment or discrimination. Movers come into contact with many customers each day. If one of your employees bothers a client or a co-worker, you need to be able to pay for an attorney to defend your company. Employment practices liability will cover expenses that result from harassment and discrimination claims.

Unique Concerns

Moving companies aren't like every other business. You're aware of the many challenges you face. You need to educate yourself on the risks and prepare yourself for the obstacles to come.

Movers are asked to handle personal property. Not many employees have this responsibility; you can't take this for granted. Pictures, vases, and tables that appear unremarkable, may be priceless in the mind of your customers. Train your workers to understand this, and teach them to use the utmost care when transporting another person's property.

After you teach your workers the proper lifting techniques, sit them down and explain the financial risks. Teach them that the company could be held responsible if anything happens to the clients' property. They're likely aware of this but tell them nonetheless. They and you need to be constantly aware that you're being allowed to touch and carry items that are important to your customers.

Past, Present, and Future of Moving Company Insurance In the past, the insurance industry was a fraction of the size it is today. Federal regulation of the transportation of interstate household goods has been around since 1887, but the laws back then were nothing like they are today. In the 20th century, insurance existed, but fraud was common and the coverage was minimal and porous.

As cars became more popular, so did the idea of moving companies. For most of the twentieth century, insurance grew at a gradual rate. Not too long ago, in the 1950's and 1960's, there was no Department of Transportation. The DOT wasn't formed until 1967. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has only been around since January 1, 2000. Regulation of cars, transportation, and moving companies hasn't been around for long. The industry has changed significantly over the years and this is likely to continue well into the future.

In 2016, there were more than 263 million vehicles registered in the United States. Year to year that number increases. Legislators, businesses, and insurance companies are trying to keep up transportation trends, and they work hard to predict and prevent car accidents on our roads. The laws are better than they used to be, but they're not perfect. Our country is still trying to figure out how to both encourage business growth and protect the rights of customers. Insurance laws are likely to change as the people in charge implement new policies and ideas.

Moving companies must be alert and ready for all of the obstacles in your way. You have to look out for traffic, road hazards, and you need to work with your employees and train them to drive as safe as possible to prevent injuries and accidents. You can't afford not to have insurance. You need much more than what's legally required. You have to push yourself to learn as much as possible about the insurance markets. In today's chaotic business world, you can't sit on the sidelines, you have to be involved in every part of your business, especially insurance.

As the owner of a moving company, you need to protect yourself and others from harm. You need to purchase policies that will keep your trucks on the road and your employees at work. Today, you have many options when you're in the market for insurance. You can go online and research policies and you can call an experienced broker to get quotes on different types of insurance. You can't wait around and hope that accidents won't happen. They will, and you need to be prepared when they do. There are many insurance options for businesses large and small. Do your research and purchase the plans that are right for you and your company.

In the future, moving insurance will be as necessary, if not more so, as it is today. Cities are expanding and new neighborhoods are being created every day in our country. You will have plenty of business in the years to come. People will always need to move.

In the next few years, the insurance industry will change. It's inevitable. There's a new administration in office and they've made it clear that they want to chip away at the regulations passed over the last eight years. The federal government and states may pass laws that remove former licensing and insurance requirements. For this reason, you need to stay informed. You need to stay abreast of the new policies and adhere to the laws. Regulations may not be the same, but insurance will remain necessary for the years, decades, and generations to come.

Your moving company is your career; it's what puts money on your table. You need to protect it. Take the time to read up the insurance you need. In today's digital world, it's not difficult to find answers to your questions. If you're confused, call your insurance agent. He/she will help you get the information you need. Find out how different insurance policies can save you money and put them in place now, not later. Yes, insurance can be expensive, but it's critical for moving companies. It could be the difference between success and financial ruin, so don't take it for granted.
Not an Insurance Agent? No problem, we help hundreds of people find the right agent/advisor every day!
Visit our dedicated Insurance Consumer section and we will recommend the right agent for your specific needs.

Insurance for You, Your Family or Your Business 
Quick and simple; secure and confidential. We share your info with only ONE of our insurance experts. Our unique, proprietary process is designed to get you the best local expertise available.


If you are an Insurance Agent, looking to help an Insured, we can help you 
Find A Marketby matching you to our MGA/Wholesaler/Carrier partners.
Further Reading 
You know when you have to get a big, heavy sofa out of the home, maybe you have to squeeze it through a tiny door and down two flights of stairs? It's a task that feels Herculean, impossible, a full week's workout in a half hour. There is the moment ...
An interesting SHRM post-recession workplace report showed that the recession had a highly negative impact on employee morale and financial concerns but actually had a positive effect on competitiveness, retention, efficiency, and creativity. Big sur...
You wouldn't let your kids ride in the car without a seat belt or play with a bottle of cleaning chemicals. Yet you may not have considered the danger your kids are in because of your home's furniture. It only takes a second for an accident to happen...
In Merritt vs. Old Dominion Freight Line the plaintiff claimed that the company discriminated by refusing to make her a short-haul truck driver. She argued that she was denied positions twice, when she was more qualified than the males who were hired...
By definition, there's nothing really wrong with viruses. They're just self-replicating, that's all. If the cash in your wallet was self-replicating, you probably wouldn't complain. Virus researcher Fred Cohen has even put out a $1,000...